Looking to play great courses and have comfortable accommodations by the sea as well? Many golfers have stumbled upon the beauty of the southeast Brunswick county area, with its attractive beach rentals and nearly golf 40 courses, including 22 in the South Brunswick islands area, as well as close proximity to the Myrtle Beach area courses. Here, golfers find course quality, hospitality, and outstanding playing conditions year round, and each course has a special feature to it, drawing its enthusiasts back time and again. For instance, some Brunswick courses treat guests to breath-taking scenery, such as the views of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and some of the biggest names in course design: Rees Jones, Dan Maples, P. B. Dye, and Clyde Johnson, to name a few, plus some of the most respected names in signature courses by PGA legends: Arnold Palmer, Fred Couples, and Hale Irwin.
While northern courses have to deal with winter play delays, if the courses allow play at all, here on the Brunswick coast, most weather is playable, and frequently we see Canadians or New Yorkers out playing on Brunswick courses during all types of winter weather. Some bring their cart-covers, rain gear, and sun and wind protection for play during inclement weather so they can focus on their game and enjoy every minute of their experience on our courses. Hot weather or cold, the golf courses around the sub-tropical Carolina coast almost always has golfers out there, chasing the little white ball around emerald-green fairways.
Most of the local courses along the Brunswick County coast are semiprivate (open to the public with club memberships available) with a wide range of greens fees according to season and location. Prices at semiprivate vary between $30 to over $100, and fees are at their highest at the more exclusive clubs and especially during the peak seasons of spring and fall when the Brunswick temperature is at its most comfortable.
Offering a fair mix of price and playing conditions, the Brunswick courses also feature teaching professionals and an abundance of natural beauty. Here are just a few of the golf courses for which Oak Island Accommodations offers a discount to its guests:
Oak Island Country Club
A 6,800 yards George Cobb design, this course was carved out of a maritime forest of pines and oaks. Players will find a fair mix of elevated greens, water, and bunkers, occasionally an alligator or two, on long stretches of open, well-tended fairways that can bring in an extra challenge when the coastal winds are up. Five of the front nine holes are on water, and four on the back have water, so the challenge often comes from both the elements and the course itself, if not the player's abilities. For men's play from the white tees on a par 72 course, this Oak Island Country Club offers a slope rating of 117 and a course rating of 69.1.
Bald Head Island Golf Club
A private course that is available for non-member play, this 6,855-yard course is a par 72 course along salt marshes, fifteen fresh-water lagoons and tidal creeks, with more than 800 acres of maritime forests, packing mile after mile of back-drop beauty for players to experience coastal golf as both a challenging game and a sight-seeing excursion. To access this remote island located just off the Cape Fear River, players take a 30-minute ferry from the Southport's mainland dock and then on the island take a waiting golf cart ride to the course itself. During play, golfers not only enjoy the habitats of egrets, ospreys, ibises, herons, and alligators and pass by nesting areas of sea turtles, they also experience some of the best golf on the Carolina coast. A key element to everyone's game, though, is the wind which, on a calm day can range 15-20 knots and on a winter's day up to 30 knots. Somehow Brad Faxon, the PGA achieved the course record of a 65 from the back tees with a 20-knot wind and took a birdie on the 460-yard uphill 18th. The island's peak season (May through August when most second-home-owning residents arrive) leaves regular “peak” season play (spring and fall) wide open for golfers to take advantage of this fabulous course.
The Courses at St. James Plantation in Southport The Reserve, designed by Michael Nicklaus of the Nicklaus Design Team amidst water and nature preserves, is the newest of the St. James' championship eighteen-hole golf courses. It is located fifty miles from Myrtle Beach, four miles west of Southport. With Bermuda grass fairways and an A-1 bent-grass greens, the par 72 course (7,100 yards from the back tees) is ideally located along the Brunswick coast, traditional in nature using surrounding wooded wetlands but challenging to all skill levels (slope rating of 123 and course rating of 68.8 from the men's white tees).
Other courses at St. James Plantation include:
The Founders' Club is a course designed by P. B. Dye and lies 7,068 out across the coastal salt marshes and adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway. It has a course rating of 137 and slope rating of 70.6, and golfers can expect rolling fairways and greens with surprising elevation changes. Its sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth holes require long tee shots over intimidating marshlands.
Opening in 1996, The Members' Club course was designed by Senior PGA Tour member Hale Irwin. Playing 6,887 yards, with a course rating of 116 to 121 and a slope rating of 67 to 68.2, depending on where one starts on the tee box, this golf course challenges players with the natural lay of the land. Though winds can be vexing, especially the 15th hole (par 5) with a squeeze down a 200-yard bottleneck in front of water, the course plays "user friendly."
Designed by Tim Cate, The Players' Club course is both friendly and difficult, beautiful and yet rustic. Interspersing beams and bunkers, wild flowers and heather grass amidst with the beautiful natural landscape, this course is kept in excellent condition year round and has a special appeal .to experienced golfers (135 course rating and 71.7 slope rating).
Designed with five sets of strategically placed tees, Carolina National is part of the Winding River Plantation along the Lockwood Folly River. Located along Route 211 near Southport, about two miles from Supply, NC, and has the course details to challenge everyone from course pro's to high handicappers. A 7,014 yard course (from the back tees) through oaks, pines, and magnolias, this environmentally friendly course features fast fairways, well-conditioned greens (course rating of 104 and course rating of 63.4).
Lockwood Folly Country Club
Enjoying some of the most extraordinary scenery in the area, this golf course is a William Byrd creation along the Lockwood Folly River and Intracoastal Waterway (course rating 130, slope rating of 70.9). The 6,800 yard course dares players to dodge towering oaks and tranquil ponds along tight fairways, but the experience is worth the effort.
Located just an hour's drive north of Myrtle Beach, this challenging but fair course was designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer and opened to the public in 1999, overlooking the Shallotte River and marshland. With a course rating of 126 and a slope rating of 70, the course combines exquisite scenery and challenging golf on its 6,909 yard fairway experience, seven holes of which lie along the river or marsh.
Ocean Ridge Plantation Courses:
Lying alongside Route 17 near N.C. 904, about equidistant from both Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, Ocean Ridge Plantation includes some of the finest golf courses in the entire Carolinas. Described by the Plantation as “big cat” courses, Tiger's Eye, Lion's Paw, Panther's Run, and the newest and still under construction, Jaguar's Lair offer must-play opportunities to all levels of golfers.
A thinking-man's course requiring precision shot-making, Tiger's Eye, at the top of its class with a rating of 135 and slope rating of 71.6, is considered upscale but open to the public. Carved from virgin pine and hardwood forests, this course gives players a sporting challenge of twists and turns on their way to bent grass greens, but the experience is worth the venture. It features a coquina-bordered waterfall and dramatic elevation changes.
Panther's Run features 7,086 (par 72) yards of premier course design. Designed by Tim Cate and open in 1991, this course “prowls” along the edge of a nature preserve, challenging golfers with surrounding marshlands. The course rating from the men's white tees is 133, and the slope rating is 70.8.
Lion's Paw offers some of the most picturesque and yet challenging golf in the area. Target-oriented, this course has a series of subtle and hard doglegs, moundings along the fairways, and a well-maintained terrain. The front nine holes are more tree-lined, and the back nine are more water-bordered, and a golfer will have a great time on all eighteen with the greens being of average size. The course rating is 135, and the slope is 71.8, and repeat players know that they can make a good score on this course, that it won't beat them up.
The newest of the courses at Ocean Ridge and due for public opening in February of 2007, Leopard's Chase is a par 71 course tucked between the front nine of Panther's Run and the back nine of Tiger's Eye. Like those other “big cat” courses, this is a Tim Cate designed course with stunning natural vistas, expansive natural wetlands and dramatic elevation changes. Considered a step above Tiger's Eye in its capability to challenge golfers, Leopard's Chase makes the most of the area's water and marsh setting. [At this point, no course and slope rating is available for this course.]
Jaguar's Lair is currently under construction and due to open in the Spring of 2008.
Magnolia Greens Golf Plantation is only a few minutes south of Wilmington. Designed by Tom Jackson, the course has rolling bent grass greens, mounded fairways, and two-tiered greens. With a nice mix of intriguing dogleg holes, picture-quality holes, and challenging holes, the average hitter can play established, traditional golf and expect a decent score from this course. The rating on this course varies from 115 to 120, and the slope rating averages 68.6 for the men's white tees.
These courses listed here are only a few of the wonderful opportunities golfers have along the North Carolina coast. With year-round play very possible, even in rain or frost dates, the golf courses on and around Oak Island make this area a perfect place to stay and play.
Oak Island Golf
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All information on this site is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information on this website are accurate, however, Oak Island Accommodations cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions.
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